Southeast Lower Peninsula
Lake Erie: DNR Fisheries staff will conduct its annual walleye assessment in the west basin of Lake Erie near Monroe, beginningand continuing through . The DNR reminds anglers and boaters to avoid navigating in between the staff buoys to prevent entanglement in the nets. Boaters are also asked to give the research vessel the R/V Channel Cat plenty of room to maneuver while it is actively lifting and setting the gear. Anglers were still finding the majority of perch in 22 to 25 feet off the River Raisin Buoys 1 and 2. Many are small and there are white perch in the area so be prepared to go through a lot of minnows. A couple boats were trolling for walleye in shallow waters but had not luck. Lots of catfish and gar were caught in the “Hot Hole” which is the warm water discharge south of the River Raisin.
Detroit River: Yellow perch were caught in the lower river and also around some of the islands. Minnows are the preferred bait but some were caught on worms.
Lexington & Port Sanilac: Boat anglers were heading out and trolling for salmon and steelhead. The fish were scattered after the strong northeast winds. Try shallow in the early morning and move deeper as the day goes on.
Harbor Beach: Had few anglers as most have pulled their boats out for the winter. Those fishing inside the harbor were targeting walleye when fishing off the wall in the evening. Perch colors work best.
Grindstone City: The waters were muddy after the wind and wave action. A few more boats are heading out but the fish seem to be scattered. Try straight out in 30 feet or deeper for salmon and steelhead.
Saginaw Bay: Has only had a few boat anglers since strong northeast winds churned up the bay. Fishing will be difficult until the water settles back down.
Saginaw River: Anglers found some perch between the mouth and the Independence Bridge.
Southwest Lower Peninsula
St. Joseph: Pier anglers are still catching a few salmon when casting spoons. Fishing overall was still slow. Boat anglers targeting salmon inside 40 feet of water reported slow fishing. Perch fishing was also slow.
St. Joseph River: Continues to get a steady run of coho and a few Chinook salmon going through the Berrien Springs ladder.
South Haven: Boat angler caught a few salmon when trolling spoons in waters about 40 feet deep. Pier anglers managed to catch the occasional salmon when casting spoons. Perch fishing slowed with the bad weather however anglers are back out and targeting them.
Black River: Had fair to good salmon action at the dam. Those casting spinners near the mouth caught a few fish as well.
Kalamazoo River: Anglers are taking a few salmon and some steelhead when casting spinners, crank baits and glow spoons up near the Allegan Dam. Those floating spawn have also taken some fish.
Grand Haven: Pier anglers caught coho on spawn, alewife and orange spoons. Those trolling around the piers have found salmon but the bite was slow.
Grand River at Grand Rapids: Water levels are low but water temperatures have cooled down. Coho have been caught at the Sixth Street Dam and near the Rogue River.
Grand River at Lansing: A few coho were caught at Lyons. About 30 fish were reported in the ladder at the Webber Dam. Anglers may also find bass, catfish, walleye, pike and panfish in the area.
Muskegon: Pier fishing was slow for salmon and steelhead. Some tried still-fishing with spawn but had no success. Those trolling in the harbor reported slow action.
Muskegon River: Has salmon however the run is behind this year. Anglers are hoping for more fish as we move further into October. Those fishing the ponds have caught panfish and bass.
Northeast Lower Peninsula
Cheboygan River: Anglers were catching a few more fish up near the dam.
Ocqueoc River: Had a small push of salmon that moved into the river. Those casting spinners down near Hammond Bay caught a few fish.
Rogers City: The big lake was stirred up after the strong winds. Those heading out this week should expect to see a big change in water temperatures. Look for baitfish and anglers should find some younger Chinook salmon along with steelhead, Atlantic salmon and possibly some walleye. Try green, blue, orange or black and white spoons from Calcite to Adams Point. Target 35 to 120 feet however the deeper water may be better as it will be less stirred up. At Swan Bay, most of the adult salmon are now up in the river and fishing for them is pretty much done for the season.
Alpena: Strong winds rolled the lake over and water temperatures should be much cooler in Thunder Bay. Look for younger Chinook, Atlantics and walleye off North Point or straight out three to five miles. Try spoons for the trout and salmon and body baits for walleye. Pier anglers at the mouth of the river caught walleye when casting deep diving body baits.
Thunder Bay River: A few Chinook have entered the river. Most anglers were drifting spawn or casting spoons and body baits at night.
Black River: Anglers may want to check for coho and steelhead moving in and out of the river. Look for fall walleye in the area as well.
Harrisville: A few salmon have been reported, but the numbers are low. Those that caught fish were using spawn, body baits and small spoons. This area should start to see some fall steelhead moving in soon.
Oscoda: Pier fishing was slow. Anglers were using spoons, spinners, body baits or floating spawn. Fall walleye should be moving through the area soon.
Au Sable River: Fishing was slow and very few salmon have been spotted. Some reported steelhead making their way up into the river but few were targeting them.
Houghton Lake: Anglers are catching a good number of pike. Some walleye were caught by those drifting leeches but many were too small. Those targeting smallmouth bass have caught some good size fish.
Tawas River: A few Chinook salmon were caught in wee hours of the morning.
Au Gres: The water was really churned up after the strong winds. It could very well take several days for the water to settle back down and fishing to improve.
Northwest Lower Peninsula
Petoskey: Salmon fishing was better from the “Bobber Hole” at the mouth of the river and into the marina than it was at the dam. A few Chinook and coho were caught, mainly off of the piers and docks, but some while surfcasting. Crankbaits, spoons, and spawn all worked. Early morning or later in the evening typically were the best fishing times.
Bear River: Fishing was slow. The water level and the number of anglers were quite low. A couple small steelhead were caught at the dam but the salmon were few and far between.
Charlevoix: Boat anglers fishing inside the breakwall near the cement plant were looking for salmon in shallower water, both trolling and casting. Those wading near the cement plant both in the slip and off shore outside the creek have caught a few salmon but the bite is still very slow. Anglers were casting spoons and crank baits or floating spawn under a bobber. The smallmouth fishing slowed but anglers are hoping the fish will return in the next week or so.
Elk River: Has trout and salmon however fishing has been slow. Anglers are catching a few juvenile steelhead, coho salmon, and the rare Chinook salmon. Spawn worked best but a few fish were taken on crawlers or minnows as well.
Traverse City: Boat anglers in the East Bay did very well for cisco along with the occasional salmon or whitefish. Most were caught in around 100 feet. Changing conditions have the fish scattered so target a variety of depths. In the West Bay, cisco and whitefish were taken in 115 feet. Anglers are reminded that lake trout season closed on September 30.
Boardman River: Fishing has been very slow. A couple steelhead and brown trout were caught on flies and worms all the way up to Sabin Dam. Anglers are the Union Street Dam caught steelhead and coho on skein. Fishing below the weir downtown has been poor with only a fish or two taken on spawn in the hole located behind the Hamberg Restaurant. There were fish on the gravel behind Fustinies and the Captins Quarters. A few fish were caught at the mouth.
Manistee: Some fish were picked up 60 to 90 feet down in 150 feet along the Shelf. When conditions allow, some were heading to waters 300 to 400 feet deep where they caught a small mixed bag of younger Chinook, some steelhead or coho. Most are using artificial baits. Surface water temperatures were in the low 40’s with not much change in the water column. Those surfcasting and those fishing from the piers reported slow catch rates. Many caught small Chinook or steelhead so they were throwing them back.
Manistee River: Has salmon and some fish are on the gravel. Anglers are fly fishing, casting small spoons and crank baits or floating spawn. Fresh steelhead are also starting to trickle in.
Ludington: Boat anglers were lucky to bring in 1 to 4 fish consisting of coho and steelhead. With the extreme changes in temperature, catch rates were hit-or-miss.
Pere Marquette River: Is also producing a few more salmon. Anglers have found fish between US-31 and the Indian Bridge. Some are drifting spawn while others are casting small spoons and crank baits. Those fly fishing have done well.
Keweenaw Bay: Angler numbers were down and the bite was slow. A few coho were caught by those surfcasting along the head of the bay in the early morning. There are some coho in the Falls River. Fishing will be tricky as the fish seem to be easily spooked.
Menominee River: Boat anglers caught a few walleye when trolling rapalas and shore anglers hooked into a few when using jigs with live bait. Anglers were still waiting for salmon to show up.
Little Bay De Noc: Northern pike anglers were still reporting good catches especially near the Day’s River, off the north edge of Saunders Point, the “Black Bottom” and in the Escanaba Yacht Harbor. Anglers are casting or trolling spoons, crank baits and spinners in eight to 16 feet. At the “Black Bottom” the fish were deeper in 25 feet. Walleye catches were fair at best with crawler harnesses in 14 to 35 feet between the First and Third Reefs. A few fish were also caught in 20 to 30 feet near the “Black Bottom”. Perch catches were spotty but a few good reports did come from the head of the bay when using minnows in ten to 14 feet.
Big Bay De Noc: Had smallmouth bass anglers. Catch rates were fair to good when drifting minnows with slip bobbers 20 to 35 feet down along the break near Snake Island. Catch and release anglers are using mostly plastics. The bass season is at its peak and anglers are reporting a lot of undersize fish caught this fall.
Marquette: The harbor is still producing lake trout, coho and the occasional Chinook in 100 to 130 feet. The pink salmon run ended in the Dead River however those fishing near the dam were still finding a few pink and coho salmon. The Chocolay River is slow with only the occasional coho caught at the mouth or in the deeper holes. Anglers are casting spinners. Those using worms or spawn bags had no luck.
Au Train Lake: Walleye anglers are drifting and casting artificial bait in 6 to 12 feet on the north side of the lake. The fish caught were between 15 and 19 inches. Perch fishing was slow but those using natural baits did catch a few in the Southwest Bay. A good number of pike were hitting both natural and artificial baits in the Southeast Bay near the boat launch but many were sub-legal.
Munising: Surface water temperatures have cooled into the mid to upper 50s.
When boats can get out they are trolling for coho with the best action in less than 30 feet of water near the White Rocks, Grand Island or from the city docks to the Anna River. Several fish surfaced off the mouth of the river. Anglers caught anywhere from 0 to 4 fish per trip and the majority measured 18 to 25 inches. Most are trolling dodgers, assorted spoons and stick baits. Those surfcasting near the mouth of the river caught the occasional steelhead and coho. Salmon and splake were seen in the river. Spawn was not working so try Cleo’s or spoons.
Grand Marais: Winds were unfavorable for boat and pier anglers. Shore anglers casting Cleo’s and stick baits in the Sucker River caught a couple steelhead. Catch rates for the most part were slow for those surfcasting but should pick up soon. No lake trout to report this week.
DeTour: Water temperatures were beginning to cool down. The cooler water should cause the perch to begin schooling which will enable anglers to catch more fish.
Drummond Island: Yellow perch fishing improved along the south end of Rutland Island in 12 to 14 feet. Anglers were using spreaders with tony gold spinners and shiners. Those fishing the west side of James Island caught perch ranging 8 to 12 inches. Large minnows are catching the bigger perch. Good smallmouth action on the north side of Harbor Island. Try jigging crawlers just off the green buoy in six to eight feet.
Cedarville & Hessel: Pike fishing slowed except for those fishing the Middle Entrance and along the south shore of Musky Bay. Perch fishing was relatively good in Musky Bay, the Viking Channel, and out near Buoy 11 in Cedarville Bay. Worms or crawlers worked best.
Carp River: Has seen a few Chinook and steelhead, however harvest is extremely slow. Nunn’s Creek is the same, very few salmon. Anglers may want to try the Pine River for walleye.